Literally in the shadow of 230-kilovolt power lines, this 850-square-foot bungalow is completely off the grid. 15 solar panels and 16 big batteries supply all the power needed to run the house and the detached 350-square-foot woodshop. No wires or pipes come to the property.
Living on the site in my 16-foot vintage travel trailer (once featured in the Tiny House Newsletter), I designed the buildings, supervised construction, and did some of the finish work. Being a retired guy, I named the place Sábado – Spanish for Saturday – because Saturday is the happiest day of the week, and retirement is the Saturday of life. You work all week, and when you get to Saturday, you get to do whatever you like!
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Off-the-Grid Bungalow/Cottage in SoCal
Solar power, well water, and a septic system make Sábado self-sufficient (with a little help from a propane tank and satellite internet… )
Sixteen deep-cycle batteries keep the lights on at night. The sun shines most days here in San Diego County, but a rarely-needed generator provides backup.
Yes, that’s a wheelbarrow in the corner. A trick I learned from the contractors, a wheelbarrow makes a great “redneck recliner.” Had to have one. It will get painted a bright color with varnished “legs” and custom-made cushions. It’s on the to-do list…
Primary heat comes from the wood stove, but I also have a heat-pump “mini-split,” that provides both auxiliary heat and air conditioning, and it’s very kind to my batteries. Bonus for a solar house: when it’s hot outside, the sun is usually shining…
All of the doors in the house will get this shellac-and-gel-stain finish. The next thing on the list of things I signed up to do.
My little dream house had to have a dream shop, and in fact I made sure the contractors got the shop enclosed first, so I could get to work on the cabinets and my other contributions, like the tapered columns and rails on the front porch.
For more details on the construction of Sábado, check out my blog at campobungalow.blogspot.com